Hispanic Republicans are taking a unified stand against Donald Trump. On the evening of the third GOP debate a great deal of Hispanic leaders emerged on Tuesday from a meeting in Colorado with a sharp warning for Republicans. They can kiss the Hispanic vote and their chances of winning goodbye if Mr. Trump is nominated. Apparently Hispanics are the most important voting bloc in America. However, Trump has humiliated them on various occasions calling them rapists, drug dealers and violent criminals. It’s difficult to see any Hispanic ever voting for Trump.
By deliberately targeting Hispanics and repeatedly attacking immigration he’s exploiting one of the biggest challenges facing by the Republican Party that is balancing the short term strategy of winning elections with the long term strategy of building a sustainable national coalition. Furthermore, taking into account the current national landscape the numbers are so dismaying it seems uncertain that the GOP could get enough Hispanic votes to win. A group of influential Republican Latino activists confounded Donald Trump on the eve of the third Republican presidential debate. They also forewarned Republicans against embracing his rhetoric and policies and advocated if they did the opposite they would completely restrain their support in a general election.
They were in complete agreement of the fact that in their view Trump is “un-electable” as he can’t win over the Hispanic voters. This group of about 20 Hispanic leaders discussed all the candidates running for the coming elections behind closed doors. In 2012, the Republican National Committee highlighted the fact that reaching out to the Hispanic voters is essential.
“I don’t believe he would have the support of anyone in this room and I don’t think he has a chance of winning the general election,” said Rev. Tony Suárez the Executive Vice President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
The group representing Hispanics clearly said that if their concerns are not addressed and if they are not given support and considered an important community it should be kept in mind that they will vote with their feet. Moreover, if the candidates think that Hispanics will forget everything they should know be warned that they will not forget anything.
The Hispanic population is not monolithic in terms of issues and immigration is not their priority. A research that was conducted prior to the 2014 midterm elections suggested that for Hispanics the number one issue of importance is education followed by the economy, jobs, health care and then immigration. Clearly indicating immigration not to be a top priority for them.
Put in perspective, an anti-immigration reform message risks driving away voters in the middle class that the GOP needs, especially in tight swing states. On the other hand, embracing a path to citizenship aggravates the Republican conservative base, and it brings about less financial and volunteer support.
It should be kept in mind that Obama won Florida in the last presidential election by a margin of less than 1% in a state where 17% of the voting population was Hispanic.